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  • New Posts

      • 1
      UFC clone but with martial arts weapons
      Looks like someone is developing a UFC-like organization but the fighters would be fully armored and use martial arts weapons.

      Interesting idea but I think people like seeing the blood in UFC fights versus guys in padded suits taking tons of hits that do not look painful/effective. The suits have lots of sensors to register "kill shots" but the videos of these fights seem to show little defense & lots of flailing. One sword flight showed a guy trying to block his opponent's sword with his hand (not too effective in real life).

      Here is a link to their wikipedia page - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unified_Weapons_Master

      Will
        • 1
        PAUL (paldo) REYNOLDS UWM could be a good safe guard for weapons use, but this prototypel seems to make the techniques slow for my taste. I see the value in its use in competitions, but what about its high cost. Would it be affordable for the competitors for there training etc. The investors stand to be rich manufactures of this product, while the old traditionalist could be driven out, perhaps not. Let the test trials for weapons use tells us greater stories of its use, oh hope they also tell us of there projected profit margins also !
        • 1
        Ray My only concern is. How much per suit. Plus remember tkd and their electronic sensor point scoring system. Very Cool concept. I would so it in a heart beat.
        • 0 1 vote
        • Reply
        • 1
        Christopher Adamchek I heard about this back when it was a concept years ago, glad to see it coming to fruition
      • 2 more comments
      • 3
      Help tracing kanji for kata
      In my spare time (laughing!!) I have started taking sho-do classes. This is partly to understand more kanji when I see it and help with Japanese in general and partly to help with a larger project I am doing to preserve the history of our style. Anyway I was wondering if anyone could point me to (preferably) kanji or otherwise kana (katakana I guess) for the following Kata: Surinja (and also what the word surinja really means), Empi Ha (as cf Empi) and tenshoa (as cf tensho) from USA Urban Goju Ryu, and Wanduan (as cf Wando if the kanji are different) and Hakkucho from Shorinji Kempo / Shorin Ryu (Okinawan). We have a lot of kata in our system as it is comprise of 3 systems (pretty much in their entirity!) so I want to get the Japanese right before I get stuck in too much further. Don't get me wrong it's going to be a fun project but I want it to be accurate. Thanks in advance.
        • 1
        Andy Hi [172080,Rachel DS], sounds like an excellent project, I'm afraid my Japanese is rudimentary at best so I can't realy help, you could try this http://www.sljfaq.org/cgi/kanjiabc.cgi, though to be honest the results can be a bit hit and miss. On the subject of Kanji being changed to suit, the original meaning of Karate was China hand but the kanji for China (kara) was later changed to mean 'empty' (as in Karaoke which translates as empty box) so now karate is translated as empty hand (as I am sure you and many of our other members will be aware).
        • 1
        Rachel DS Hi - yeh....been kinda busy and about to get busier.....more on that later.....after it's all said and done. ;) Re the kata. I mostly want the kanji for the kata (I have gathered most of them); the ones I am missing are the really old ones (tomari-te based mostly so perhaps lost to the sands of time and then reinvented) and the newest ones (urban goju ryu - which were developed or modified by a westerner so his Japanese may not have been as good as a native speaker). There are also other random things that I have found in my research about masters just assigning random kanji and changing names / kanji as they saw fit....all well and good but makes tracing these things kinda tricky! In terms of our styles history I am focusing mostly from okinawan origins to the present day and the development of our style, but I will probably do something brief on Daruma (Bhodidarma)....depending on what I can find as I really think the poems he wrote are great and very applicable. Also Sho do is really great....there are lots of parallels between that and budo activities even some of the stroke names I found familiar ....probably why Bun bu ryo do is a thing - lol.
        • 0 1 vote
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        • 1
        Will - Black Belt Wiki Hi [172080,Rachel DS]

        Welcome back! Great idea about preserving the history of your martial arts style. Are you going from ancient history to modern times? Or just focusing on the ancient past?

        For anyone who doesn't know what sho-do is (I didn't) - It is calligraphy.

        Are you just looking for the kanji of the kata's title?

        Will
        Black Belt Wiki
      • 3 more comments
      • 5
      Are martial arts movies good or bad for martial arts?
      Did you get sucked into martial arts after you had seen Bruce Lee fight his way upstairs the pagoda in “Game of Death”? Good, and you are certainly not the only one! But are martial arts movies actually good or bad for martial arts? Martial arts movies have undoubtedly been pivotal in popularizing once obscure, only regionally known self-defense systems. However, what is shown of these arts on the screen are (for the most part) flashy, heavily choreographed fighting scenes that bear little resemblance to the kind of real life combat that these systems were originally developed for (Bruce Lee himself once mentioned that that for his movies he preferred flashier over less flashy but more effective techniques). So, have martial arts movies shaped the way martial arts are perceived and through this corrupted them?
        • 1
        PAUL (paldo) REYNOLDS GOOD for martial arts!, I believe karate movies plays as a good marketing tool for interest and recruitment for those who have the desire to join a real karate class. Movies do motivate and create excitement, as most people realize that karate moves are rehearsed and is part of the fantasy world. Moreover, the moves had to be practiced by real karate individualists to make it into entertainment, so quality karate movements are recognized by those individualists. Even as a student of the arts; old karate movies provide a theme for entertainment and even a cultural lesson from the ancient times, and to some other karate-ka, it provides the technical expertise and meaning of techniques, that educates the practioner and practicing karate judges in identifying point contacts in there fight scenes. I do agree on the other hand, that karate movies can be sinuous, and they do shape the martial arts to a false-hood in real life. Today, the opinions of Internet karate junkies have no basis of professional karate degrees and experiences, that only confuse the young practicing karate-ka as they strive towards their karate journey. The only good measurement of this practice comes from the real experienced karate-ka to realize that, comparison of karate styles is controversal and has no relevance to one's karate development. In that, real life karate is a serious dedicated development, while movies are what they are, just movies for entertainment which causes karate enthusiasm!
        • 0 1 vote
        • Reply
        • 1
        Ray I am still asked when the spinning back jump flip kick with ninja stars and smoke will be taught.

        The other day I was closing down the gym when I was seriously asked. " how long till I can be like the guy from enter the badlands?" This was asked by an adult.

        I was once asked if I could get the instructor to skip all the "fluff training" and move on to the real ninja stuff.

        Calling the movies the gate way drug is puting it mildly
        • 0 1 vote
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        • 1
        Al W Martial Arts in movies and tv shows could be considered the "Gateway Drug" for kids. They see famous MA practitioners perform flash moves and think "Wow I want to do that".

        As [171668,Will - Black Belt Wiki] said, without movies the MA community would be very small.
        On the plus side there would be less McDojos
      • 6 more comments
      • 1
      Promoting the not worthy part 2.
      As we all know I decided to not promote a certain young lad this week. I suprised everyone with a mock testing. Of course I promoted all who met the requirements. 2. And several stripes were awarded. I was willing to promote the wild child if he could do all techniques wirhout any help.

      I must say. I felt like an ass for not promoting him. He expected it and almost cried. He did perform at top levels tonight. But he forgot a very basic low block and after several attempts to get I right he still did a.inside middle? Not sure what I did wrong there. Any way he flat out said I never taught the rear kick. I did not in formal class. It was only in sparring class for the more advanced kids. I don't formaly teach it in class only in sparring. If a child is not in the sparring class they are not required to know it yet. But. All the other kids even the ones not in th sparring class. Knew how to do it. He is in the sparring class.

      Am I wrong on the back kick issue?
        • 1
        Richie It needs to be emphasized that you denied the promotion to push him. Kids have egos twice the size of them and little things can break them. Life at home has a lot to do with it also. If he is a crazy kid in class this means his home life has no structure and NEEDS karate more then most.

        Reinforce the "I" by stating
        "I need you better"
        "I know you can do this"
        "How can I help you get where I feel you should be."

        Don't reinforce the "you"
        "You need to learn this"
        "Why can't you do this"

        The teacher/mentor-ship is gone and you become a boss handing out tasks in their mind. Both get the same message across but the "I" is not accusatory.
        • 1
        Ray I give syllabus out for 2 ranks at a time. What you will be testing for. And what to expect in the future.

        I have an assistant who documents every class and who was there. I do this as well.

        @Will - Black Belt Wiki. Yes he was at the sparring classes where this technique was taught. He has used it in live sparring. I did not ask for it to be perfect, just used.

        He was 3rd to test. Rank or stripes given on completion. So yes I do believe he knew. As far as retest yes they are given. There is no set schedule. He could retest next week or next month. Or even in tonight's class.

        I take into account over al attitude minnimum skill required time and age.

        For the record he was the only one who did not attempt the technique. That plus forgetting the low block and past history is why I did not promote him.

        But no it was never taught in a static on the line technique. Much of our curriculum is not. But every new technique taught in sparring is taught from a basic combo 1 2 kind of thing. I also make it clear when it is a requirement.
        • 1
        Will - Black Belt Wiki [217441,Ray]

        A few questions

        Since he was in the sparring class - Did he learn the back kick with rest of the sparring kids or did he miss those classes?

        Given his past disruptions - Did he know he was on thin ice for the test?

        Does your school offer "makeup" tests if a kid fails but practices very hard for a month & is a model student during that time?

        You might already have this but if you don't... you might want to create a syllabus that shows the things that kids are supposed to know for each test level (i.e. yellow belts need to know XYZ kick, ABC self-defense technique, etc). Then... if you aren't already doing this... you should consider holding several review classes before any test in order to practice the specific test items listed on the syllabus.

        Will
        Black Belt Wiki
      • 4 more comments
      • 1
      Head Shoulders Knees & Toes (Sing It)
      Effective MA disguised as a children's nursery rhyme :)
        • 1
        Andy We are probably all familiar with headbut, knee strikes and toe kicks so I'll focus here on the shoulder barge. We have all probably seen (if never practiced or associated it with MA) the shoulder barge. Think American football or those films and clips we have seen of someone busting a door with their shoulder. This is a very effective technique in MA and one that I think is under used and not taught enough. It is a great way of unbalancing/knocking over an opponent (especialy if you time it right while they are unbalanced (or ariel) performing a kick), it is also a great offensive move in its own right (if performed with enough power and focus) and is also used with great effect in kenjutsu http://www.markstraining.com/2008/08/book-of-five-rings-examination-part-6.html?m=1 The prime target area is the solar plexus or sternum (especialy effective in confined areas where you can manoever or have an opponent against a wall). Here also are some more MA applications of the shoulder barge (sorry for the lack of sound, this is the only video I have found so far that demonstrates this technique). https://youtu.be/IHm3FGvwmxg
        • 0 1 vote
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        • 1
        Rachel DS So glad you added the explanation....... I was going "huh????"
        • 1
        Andy Most of us westerners will be familiar with this nursery rhyme but have you ever considered its value as an effective self defense strategy? The first part of the rhyme highlights some very effective striking methods (head but, shoulder barge, Knee strikes and kicks that utilise the toes as a weapon), the second part of the rhyme has some effective target areas (eyes and ears and mouth and nose), maybe we should check out more nursery rhymes for hidden Bunkai! :)
      • 2 more comments


    Visit the New Posts section for all of the recent posts.

    Top Rated Posts

      • 8
      What movie inspired you to start your martial arts training?
      I was inspired by many movies (i.e. Bruce Lee, etc.). However, the ones that really stick in my mind are the Seven Samurai and some of the old dubbed Kung Fu movies (esp. the movies with Gordon Liu).

      As a kid, I always loved martial arts movies where it was good fighting evil and where hardwork & dedication overcame training difficulties.

      Will
      Black Belt Wiki
        • 1
        Ray McLean I start my martial arts journey in the late 60s , but When thinking back I always loved watching shintaro . He was a hired samurai bodyguard.
        Also bully jack , an American Indian who took on crooked local governments when he was making his way to capital hill
        • 1
        tommy roberts For me the movie that got me to want too get into martial arts was Enter the Dragon , I was ten years old when i saw it with my uncle .
        • 1
        MichaelShayne Greetings, I am new to the community and just wanted to say hello!

        I would say the Five Fingers of death. I believe it was one of the first episodes, back when Saturday morning Kung fu theater first came on air. Ages ago, but was in awe and stayed on the floor watching several shows, for about two.
      • 126 more comments
      • 7
      Should martial arts instructors know CPR & first aid?
      When you combine out-of-shape middle aged adults and vigorous martial arts training, you have the potential for medical emergencies.

      Do your instructors know CPR & first aid? Or should they only know how to call 911? Does your school train for medical emergencies (i.e. heart attack, broken bones, serious bleeding, etc.)?

      Related question - How has your school dealt with medical emergencies in the past?

      Will
      Black Belt Wiki
        • 1
        FranK Martino According to the Sip Sam Seh,s 'the purpose and philosophy behind the martial arts is the rejuvenation and prolonging of life beyond the normal span.'

        Learning 1st Aid and CPR and Heimlich maneuver is definitely in harmony with the above gosals.
        • 2
        Todd Mendenhall Yes, I think it is responsible and ethical for any Instructor to know basic first aid. They should know CPR, as well as, how to deal with Concussion and minor injuries. Martial Arts, can be dangerous if the proper control is not initiated, so understanding the difference between minor and major injury is imperative.
        • 2
        Beth Loomer Everyone should be trained to deal with these things. Who knows when it will happen your own home even.
      • 45 more comments
      • 7
      Martial Arts Humor & Jokes
      Thought it would be really great to get some martial arts jokes to tell in class to break the ice with my young and new students in autumn, if you know of any jokes or humourous anecdotes that can appeal in a class, but still not let it descend into anarchy, I'd love to hear them.
      Let my kick off:
      "How many karate instructors does it take to change a lightbulb?"

      "100! One to change the bulb and 99 to say it would not work on the street!"
        • 1
        Ray https://youtu.be/tJl3ZAg6mj0

        I remember a freind of mine saying that karate WA just code for kick to the balls.
        • 1
        Al W Not so much a joke but a humorous observation.

        A few weeks ago Renshi Bob Caruana paid our dojo a visit to teach the class, he was one of the instructors who taught my instructor. He noticed that one of our members performs his blocks, and punches a little differently. He asked the chap what style he did before (as it clearly wasn't Shotokan), to which he replied "Sankukai Sensei", Renshi Bob waited a moment and replied with "Sankukai? Never heard of it". My sides were splitting, after our chap explained a bit about it Bob ends the conversation with "Yoshinao Who?, never heard of him"

        Renshi Bob is a character, often described as Fat Elvis (well only by the guy he just insulted)
        • 1
        DW Duke I was serving as a referee in Tae Kwon Do at the Junior Olympics. A Grand Master walked up to me and said, "We need explain to these USA Tae Kwon Do kids that WTF in Tae Kwon Do is not the same as WTF on Facebook. It is hard for these kids to spar when they are laughing so hard they can't stand up."
      • 68 more comments
      • 6
      Tiger Balm & Andy
      In honor of Andy, I have just now added Tiger Balm to the community store :) - http://community.blackbeltwiki.com/store

      Of course, we are still waiting for Tiger Balm to make [171807,Andy] an official spokesperson!

      Will
      Black Belt Wiki
        • 1
        Ray I have been using tiger balm since lrrp school.(20 plus years) It is good for just about everything. I am interested in the white flower oil though.
        • 1
        Mary Cayte Reiland I've never used Tiger Balm, I use this oil called White Flower Oil. I heard that it has 10 times the active ingredients of Tiger Balm. I use it for everything, if I get a headache, I rub it into my temples, if I'm aching, I can add a few drops to my bath, and it works well for all aches and pains.
        • 1
        Al W Can't say I've used Tiger Balm, used Deep Heat, it helped with muscle pains I had
      • 17 more comments
      • 6
      A Karate Guy Never Gives Up
      An off shoot of Any inquiring about dropping out and having the natural spirit for martial arts. My nephew recently started taking classes (he is 4 years old) i was play sparing with him after class and gave up to fighting him and he told me "A karate guy never gives up" , it was adorable.

      Its all about spirit, he will most likely make this an important part of his life, im eager to see him grow in it.
        • 1
        (deleted) Yes, except when it is time to give up (in self-defense you have to know when to hold-em, when to fold-em and when to walk away) Oh yeah, know when to run too!
        • 2
        Andy Thanks for that Rachel that explains why I haven't been able to find any reference to what my physio therapist was talking about lol, oh and I think I'll stick to cross training as opposed to cross dressing. :)
        • 1
        Rachel DS Wow. Andy....that is inspiring.....BTW it is plantar flexion your physio was referring to.....ie pointing the toes down. I rarely listen to doctors re that sort of thing.....physios know more about rehab on the whole.....speaking as one.....according to my daughter age 4.... Everyone looks good in a tutu so if you ever feel a need to cross train you could always get one. Apparently ballet is really good for your karate.
      • 10 more comments
      • 5
      Are martial arts movies good or bad for martial arts?
      Did you get sucked into martial arts after you had seen Bruce Lee fight his way upstairs the pagoda in “Game of Death”? Good, and you are certainly not the only one! But are martial arts movies actually good or bad for martial arts? Martial arts movies have undoubtedly been pivotal in popularizing once obscure, only regionally known self-defense systems. However, what is shown of these arts on the screen are (for the most part) flashy, heavily choreographed fighting scenes that bear little resemblance to the kind of real life combat that these systems were originally developed for (Bruce Lee himself once mentioned that that for his movies he preferred flashier over less flashy but more effective techniques). So, have martial arts movies shaped the way martial arts are perceived and through this corrupted them?
        • 1
        PAUL (paldo) REYNOLDS GOOD for martial arts!, I believe karate movies plays as a good marketing tool for interest and recruitment for those who have the desire to join a real karate class. Movies do motivate and create excitement, as most people realize that karate moves are rehearsed and is part of the fantasy world. Moreover, the moves had to be practiced by real karate individualists to make it into entertainment, so quality karate movements are recognized by those individualists. Even as a student of the arts; old karate movies provide a theme for entertainment and even a cultural lesson from the ancient times, and to some other karate-ka, it provides the technical expertise and meaning of techniques, that educates the practioner and practicing karate judges in identifying point contacts in there fight scenes. I do agree on the other hand, that karate movies can be sinuous, and they do shape the martial arts to a false-hood in real life. Today, the opinions of Internet karate junkies have no basis of professional karate degrees and experiences, that only confuse the young practicing karate-ka as they strive towards their karate journey. The only good measurement of this practice comes from the real experienced karate-ka to realize that, comparison of karate styles is controversal and has no relevance to one's karate development. In that, real life karate is a serious dedicated development, while movies are what they are, just movies for entertainment which causes karate enthusiasm!
        • 0 1 vote
        • Reply
        • 1
        Ray I am still asked when the spinning back jump flip kick with ninja stars and smoke will be taught.

        The other day I was closing down the gym when I was seriously asked. " how long till I can be like the guy from enter the badlands?" This was asked by an adult.

        I was once asked if I could get the instructor to skip all the "fluff training" and move on to the real ninja stuff.

        Calling the movies the gate way drug is puting it mildly
        • 0 1 vote
        • Reply
        • 1
        Al W Martial Arts in movies and tv shows could be considered the "Gateway Drug" for kids. They see famous MA practitioners perform flash moves and think "Wow I want to do that".

        As [171668,Will - Black Belt Wiki] said, without movies the MA community would be very small.
        On the plus side there would be less McDojos
      • 6 more comments
      • 5
      How to be better fighter than a UFC or MMA fighter?
      Was training in a park recently with more experienced friend

      A passerby walked up and said that we looked good but asked if it could beat an MMA fighter. Before i could say anything my friend spoke up.

      "Absolutely....UFC has 31 rules - i have none. I would break every rule there is and probably a few they didnt even think to make."

      It was a great response!
        • 1
        Al W UFC/MMA shouldn't be the standard to which all MA are judged against.
        • 1
        Nico An afterthought to my previous post: On top of everything I said below, one cannot assume that a UFC/MMA-fighter wouldn't be able to fight "dirty", too, simply because he/she does not do so in the cage/ring.
        • 1
        Nico "Absolutely....UFC has 31 rules - i have none. I would break every rule there is and probably a few they didnt even think to make."

        I'd like to make a few comments regarding this bold statement. Yes, it is true that in many if not all traditional martial arts there are techniques that are banned in UFC/MMA-fights. However, you should not jump to the conclusion that you would win a fight against a UFC/MMA-fighter because you know and have practiced such "forbidden techniques". In my opinion, what's more important to do well in a fight is timing, speed, seeing possible openings and extensive training with a fully resisting opponent. If you don't practice these things you may not get a chance to apply your killer techniques against a well trained UFC/MMA-fighter.
      • 17 more comments
      • 5
      Is boxing a martial art?
      Is boxing considered to be a martial art by traditional martial artists?
      • 5
      Happy Birthday Blackbelt Wiki Community!
      Yes we are now officially 1 year old! First of all a big thank you to @Will - Black
      Belt Wiki for creating this community out of the ashes of the old black belt wiki message boards! I personally believe that this community is the best place currently available on the Internet for fellow martial artists to meet, discuss MA topics and interact in a safe and no
      BS environment. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank and congratulate ALL fellow members for their contributions and for making my job as a community moderator so easy! Looking back over the past year it is perhaps ironic that I (as a moderator) have probably been the worst behaved on here (except for
      [172080,Rachel DS] who should be ashamed of herself for being such a bad influence and leading me astray on so many occasions)! :)
      My only wish is that more of our 300+ members would get involved and post something (anything!!! Lol). May our community continue to go from strength to strength (quick pass the barf bag!) and continue for many more years to come!
      I would also like to say a big 'screw you!' to all of the spam merchants that either I (but much more so Will) have had to delete and ban over this last year! Osu :)
        • 1
        Rachel DS It has been a pleasure leading you astray [171807,Andy] and I mean that in the most innocent way possible. It is important to have a sense of humour at least proportional to one's sense of passion. I have certainly got a lot out of being involved in this online community and hope it kicks on despite the occasional knock out joke from any of us. 😂 O tonjobi emedeto gosaimashita and domo arigato gosaimashita to [171668,Will - Black Belt Wiki] for creating the community!
        • 2
        Keston Destiny I want to thank Black Belt Wiki for allowing someone like me with no knowledge of karate into your lives. My daughters have been so prosperous on their journey through karate and it's been an enjoyment to be alongside them. I'm proud to say that after 14 trophies, 5 medals, and 5 tournaments my girls will be advancing to yellow belt on June 9th. So I'm very happy for this community and pardon my lack of activity, I do care.
        • 1
        Will - Black Belt Wiki Thanks [171807,Andy]

        This community (when active :) has been a ton of fun with good-natured teasing, jokes and humorous videos. More importantly, it has helped many people (members & visitors) to learn about different martial arts and the camaraderie of martial arts training.

        I want to thank everyone who has contributed to this community and the wiki!!!!!!!

        Will
        Black Belt Wiki
      • 13 more comments
      • 5
      Member's Showcase
      I see videos on here of people at competitions, and various other forms of media. Wouldn't it be nice if we could see each other perform our respective styles/arts? So I'm creating this post just for that, no videos of Chuck Norris roundhousing squirrels or any other videos of non -members.

      Criticism is always welcome but keep it clean and no bullying. Remember we're all different with different levels of skills and athletic ability
      • 5
      Luca Valdesi - Unsu kata
      Demonstration of Unsu Kata
        • 1
        John Luttrell As part of our club's 15th anniversary we had a course on Unsu with Sensei Hazard and Sensei Trimbel it was excellent and we all learned a great deal. If you get a chance to train with either of these gentlemen you will learn a lot.
        • 1
        Al W Can anyone help me develop the jump in this kata? I need to learn to perform the Sempu Tobi Geri on both legs for reasons that will remain classified at present
        • 1
        Al W If I could be half as good as him then I would count myself lucky
      • 4 more comments
      • 5
      Trials & tribulations of running a martial arts school
      What are the major problems of running a martial arts school? Does it involve finding students, accidents, training monotony, weekend schedules, non payers, legal issues, etc.?

      Since we have a number of martial arts school instructors and/or owners in this community (such as [171786,Christopher Adamchek] , [174082,Andrea Harkins The Martial Arts Woman]" , [186241,Nathalie] , [181642,Ced] , [175467,Kenneth Winthrop] , [178814,Patrick Lee] and many others), I thought they might share their "trials & tribulations" in order to educate others.

      Will
      Black Belt Wiki
        • 1
        Nathalie Hello everyone,

        My boyfriend and I operate a kyokushin karate school and I am training 2 teens to become junior black belts and 1 girl who is going for her first dan at the age of 24. This young lady has been avid at our school since 2011. Listening, being present, showing up, training, etc...Now, she trains 5-6 days per week to prep for the big test. I love her determination and she is very sweet.

        The thing is that she is very soft in her movements as in katas, she speaks very low, when she is quizzed, if we can't read lips, we don't get what her answer is and she has never kiai'd in the 5 years that she's been with us. She is very shy and does not socialize with anyone. Not that she has to but there is never a conversation unless someone else engages her, she just picks up her stuff after class and she is gone in a flash.

        I can kind of relate to her because growing up and as a young adult, I was morbidly shy but I made myself get over it and though I get fleeting thoughts of self-doubt sometimes, I don't let those get in my way. I even remember being shy to kiai in class and thinking, after a few years of hearing others just let it all out, that I better get over that one before I get noticed as the one who is scared to kiai so I just do it from the gut, especially since my brown belt level training for my bb test.

        I have explained the meaning of the kiai to the group (oh, and they do it but they hold back so much) (thank you Jesse, btw, for your great articles, I love referring to them) the importance of putting power into their katas plus how important the breathing is as in Sanchin kata . She will nod, agree and just continue to do what she usually does, soft punches and mouth shut, not a sound of breath nor kiai.

        One of my previous instructors who is strict suggested that during the kata part of the test, we should make them all redo the katas over and over until done perfectly (as in our usual way of testing) but make sure all the kiais are heard clearly otherwise this segment won't end.

        My first question is: Is it not a must at this level? and How do I make her feel secure enough to express herself? (believe it or not she has a masters degree in communications).

        Thank you for your attention

        Nathalie
        • 1
        Ray Late to the party but.....

        I do not own or run my school. Nor do I have a real say in anything.

        I do have the largest class. My own account for gear with kwon u.s.a. I get everyone set up for tournaments open up most days, and sub for some of the other instructors on a regular basis.

        My biggest obstacle is not owning my own gym.
        • 1
        Ced I am confident that between the various opinions you will find what works best for you. Good luck wish you much success.
      • 25 more comments
      • 5
      Have you ever encountered a fake black belt?
      Have you ever encountered a fake black belt? While kids have been known to "exaggerate"... have you encountered any adults who have lied about their martial arts experience?

      I am asking because of a video that is going viral that shows a BJJ instructor going off on a fake black belt - http://www.inquisitr.com/2235940/miami-martial-arts-instructor-ruben-alvarez-outed-fake-black-belt-berates-him-to-wear-white-belt-if-he-wants-to-return/

      Will
      Black Belt Wiki
        • 1
        James A helpful guide for anyone wishing to become a fake black belt http://kenpista.com/fake-black-belt-master-step-by-step-guide/
        • 1
        Al W https://www.instagram.com/p/BJrGlJnBGne/
        • 1
        Al W From my experiences a legitimate martial arts school will be affiliated with a governing body. For example my club is affiliated with the AMA (Amateur Martial Arts Association), WUKF, and the EKC (English Karate Council). One question to ask the instructor of any class is "What governing body are you affiliated with?" If they have none the walk away. The insurance for our membership is provided via the AMA, what insurance is a club with no governing body affiliation providing?

        That's not to say every club without governing body affiliation is a mcdojo, but it's one of many mcdojo trademarks
      • 212 more comments
      • 5
      Walls can be used as a martial arts weapon
      Many martial art styles and techniques take advantage of the floor as a weapon but a good solid wall can be just as good a friend to the martial artist in self defence and actual combat situations. Most walls are as solid and unforgiving as the floor and can be used to great effect in the martial arts. An opponent/attacker can be pushed with great force (by using a double open palm thrust to the chest, a technique that anyone familiar with sanchin should be already be versed in), you can catch an oncoming punch or strike and then spin to throw your attacker into a wall, also the effect of most high range kicks or punches can be doubled if you can position yourself so that the attackers head or back will connect with the wall on execution. You can practice some of the pushing or throwing techniques with a partner by placing several mats against a wall but I would only recommend using kicks or punches in conjunction with walls as a means of actual self defence.
        • 1
        Kenneth Winthrop When you are defending yourself in the real world you use whatever is available to you. If you can use a wall, floor, car door, whatever use it. We do not worry about points in the real world. When it's for real there are no rules.
        • 1
        Kamzy I also agree walls can be used as weapon, it all depend on how you used it.
        • 1
        Andy I agree with [171668,Black Belt Wiki] and would stress again that using walls or other solid objects as a 'weapon' is a means of last resort, and only if you are in a situation where it is both vital and applicable!
      • 24 more comments
      • 5
      Teaching combinations
      Hi. I really enjoyed the section on teaching kids. Does anyone have ideas about how to teach 40 combinations, like we have in Shukokai? It is hard for the kids to remember them, and not easy to teach. Open to any ideas!
        • 1
        PAUL (paldo) REYNOLDS teach in segments and unite them, then add another segment and unite it and so forth. Perform in unison ! The individual performance comes later.
        • 1
        Todd Mendenhall It has always been my experience, to break the combinations down. Keep it fundamental, ensure they grasp and get the first technique, then build upon it, just like walking, we crawl first. Then teach the next one, then combine the two. Doing this, a person should be able to get it.
        • 1
        Rachel DS My son seems to enjoy learning kihon and combinations in circuit drills. I do too actually. We get to use"toys" ie weights, focus mits, exercise bands, kick pads etc and work in pairs and do 2min I think per station. We are basically doing the same thing at each station but with a different spin and different resistance.
      • 8 more comments
      • 5
      What is "hard" and "soft" karate styles?
      What does it mean when you see a karate style labeled as "hard" or "soft"? Does hard mean you chew on iron nails for breakfast and soft is tai chi-like? :)

      Seriously, wikipedia labels some karate styles harder than others - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of_karate_styles

      Also according to the opinion of karate students (and not wikipedia) - what is the hardest karate style? And what is the softest karate style?

      Thanks in advance for your thoughts.
        • 1
        Ray This is already a done deal but I wanted to add a bit of my experince in.

        Hard is taught to the beginners blocks are forced and hard often used as offensive and defensive strikes

        Soft is is for the more advanced who can deflect and dodge without having to strike back.

        When I started in karate I was truly hard. I would hit with force at a moments notice. Now I rarely ever hit hard at all. I spend more time deflecting strikes and pising off my opponent by not getting hit than I do hitting them.
        • 2
        Bryce Hard and soft styles, in my own personal experience, tend to be all about how one approaches blocking. In hard styles (in karate, at least) such as Shotokan, you see blocks which have a lot of power, and the point of these blocks is often not only to avoid injury yourself, but to injure the opponent as well with the power of the block. In order to put up with the impact created by such powerful blocks, practitioners of hard styles will often take part in exercises to toughen up their bodies (see Kyokushin karate).

        Soft styles, on the other hand, tend to focus on staying relaxed during a fight and tend to redirect or avoid their opponent's energy as opposed to directly clashing with it. This means that the blocks themselves only use enough energy to avoid injury, in theory allowing the soft-style practitioner to retain their energy for later in the fight (with enough endurance training and body control their is obviously no difference in endurance levels between practitioners of different styles; this is just the theory). Wado-Ryu karate is one example of a soft style; the style blends the relaxed, circular movements of Japanese jiujutsu with the hard, direct strikes of Japanese karate in a style of movement called Taisabaki (or body shifting). In this, the practitioner shifts away from the opponents strikes using their core, employing their blocking hand merely as a safety measure to ensure that the punch or kick does not redirect (in theory, one could perform this part of taisabaki without moving their arms at all). This places the practitioner away from the opponent's strike, but closer to the opponent themselves, allowing the practitioner to move their shifted body weight into the opponent with their counterattack.

        One of the other black belts once asked my sensei which was better, and in response he said "punch is punch; kick is kick." In other words, both types of martial art can be deadly. It depends on yourself and your teacher, not the style itself.

        (Note: Sorry that the soft style explanation is larger; I am a practitioner of Wado-Ryu, and I have more experience with it than I do the hard styles. I felt I should only explain as far as I understood).
        • 1
        Andy @Goldin Christie here is one of our earlier posts that covers your question
      • 44 more comments
      • 5
      Where are all the karate women?
      I would like to connect with other women in MA. I train in traditional Japanese / Okinawan karate and am very often the only XX in class. I would like to connect with other like minded women who think it isn't crazy to train in MA.
        • 1
        PAUL (paldo) REYNOLDS Hi @ three tears: small world isn't it ! my latest style is Shorin-ryu in a part-time Senior Sensei capacity. I have over 20 yrs in Shotokan and two yrs in Taekwondo. As you probably know Shorin-ryu is an old Japanese style, where Shotokan was developed from. It's amazing, I first started out in Shorin-ryu in Okinawa and nearly 30 yrs later, I've returned to it, although Shotokan is a very strong descendant. The NWMAF seems to be a good org., it seems good for the women etc. Let me know how things progress. Siyonnara!
        • 1
        PAUL (paldo) REYNOLDS I enjoy the women's points of view also ! good fortitude !
        • 1
        ThreeTears Depending on the school or club you attend, the ratio will vary. I also train in Okinawan karate, and my club includes a large percentage of women. If you want to connect with women in martial arts, you can investigate National Women's Martial Arts Federation (NWMAF). The organization comprises women from all styles. See nwmaf.org
      • 118 more comments
      • 4
      Resisting and non-resisting training partners: The dojo effect
      Lately I've been thinking about two different kinds of training partners a lot: the resisting and the non-resisting one (arguably, there's a large gray area in between).

      If you foremost train martial arts for self-defense reasons (of course, there are other perfectly valid reasons), I'd argue that training with a resisting partner is crucial. However, I've seen many places promoting self-defense where this does not happen. Attacks are often just announced one-step attacks and little or no attempts are made by the training partner to block or evade counter attacks, locks and throws. This is sometimes also called the dojo effect.

      While scaffolding is certainly important to learn how to block, launch a counter attack, apply a lock or take down an opponent, the ultimate goal, in my opinion, should be to learn how to face a resisting opponent since in a self-defense situation you're very unlikely to deal with a non-resisting one.

      Admittedly, it is difficult to create a good and safe training environment that allows training with a resisting partner. After all, we don't want to hurt each other.

      What are your thoughts on this? How do you make sure you don't fall into the traps of the dojo effect?
        • 1
        Llewena Carrero What I do is initially I teach the kids/adults the technique we are focusing on in a non resistant manner. Then I ask the lower grade of the pair to do the attack, how to aim and how quick or hard they are to go. The higher grade is then to do the defence technique with (hopefully) the right level of force since they have trained for longer and 'know' the ropes so to speak.
        I also comment they should be good partners giving some resistance and some force BUT to remember its their turn next. It's funny to see kids faces go from evil smiles (you can picture what they are planning) to oh I'd better be nice and not rough looks. I walk around the class and randomly test the resistance levels and force levels and let them know they need to increase or decrease for the particular technique.
        • 2
        Mark Winter I practice Aikido and we teach that the attacker should not resist but don't give. Make the defender move you before "going along" with the technique. But of course there are techniques (such as arm breaking and choking out a person) that can only be simulated.
        • 1
        Andy [227432,Nico], good point/question. Of course it comes down to what an individual is looking for from the martial arts, personally I think it is prudent to at least explore the self defence/real combat applications of all MA (even sport based martial arts, as most have been adapted from effective fighting systems).
        As for how to effectively add realism to training? As other members have stated in one way or another, we must be able to walk before we can run, as such beginners and intermediates (and I am not talking grades here as there are Dan grades who are very much still intermediates and some Kyu grades who are well advanced) should first focus on correct technique, overall fitness/conditioning, speed, timing etc all of which can be learned in any decent dojo by the tried and tested means of Kihon, kata and Kumite. Some instructors do add self defence elements to everyday class though how effective this self defence training is depends on a lot of variables and as @Will -
        Black Belt Wiki stated can be little more than pre arranged
        one or two step sparring drills padded out a little to 'look' like self defence. Unless your school is a dedicated combat oriented style, then it is a good idea to seek out extra curricular combat training, this can be either another martial art, a seminar or course on the combat elements of the style you are learning or simply a get together with like minded 'advanced' martial artists to explore what works and what doesn't and as @James stated to work on why what doesn't doesn't and kick it about a bit until it does! :)
      • 16 more comments
      • 4
      Positives & Negatives of Kata
      What are the positive and negative aspects of kata? And when I say kata, I mean Karate kata, Taekwondo forms & patterns, Wushu Taolu, etc. For example, some of the positives of kata include solo training, muscle memory of different techniques, fitness aspects, etc. Kata negatives include imaginary opponents that "don't hit back", it can be too slow, etc.

      We have a lot of Karate and Taekwondo members so I am sure we can come up with many more positives. We also have a number of members who do not use and/or dislike kata... and I am sure that they can help with the negatives. :)

      The wiki has a page with some of the benefits and perceived drawbacks of kata but I would like to expand it with your help - http://www.blackbeltwiki.com/benefits-of-kata

      Remember this is supposed to be a friendly kata discussion... so please no attacks on anyone's beliefs about kata. Thanks!

      Will
      Black Belt Wiki
        • 1
        Will - Black Belt Wiki Due to everyone's comments, I have added two more kata benefits to the wiki page - http://www.blackbeltwiki.com/benefits-of-kata

        1. Honor the ancient traditions of a martial arts since kata has been taught for centuries.
        2. Slow kata can be used a form of "moving meditation" or "dynamic mediation".

        Will
        Black Belt Wiki
        • 2
        Nuria Macia TKD As all you guys have pointed out if we can't find the value of Kata/Poomsae is because they haven't been taught correctly, I couldn't agree more with that statement. I also think it depends on the maturity of the martial artist and how deeply involved wants to get in the martial art.
        Besides all the benefits mentioned in the wiki page which I endorse, I find poomsae a way of dynamic meditation. As they say in this article from The Journal of the International Association of Taekwondo Research - http://www.jiatr.org/archive/index.html?gubun=4&no=19&year=2016&vol=3&ho=1&page=26&ifv=1 "The training of poomsae has its own end; independent from kyorugi training, this end is found in healing and harmonizing oneself with the control of qi"
        However, so far I've never seen a Dojang teaching poomsae as dynamic meditation. What do you guys think about this aspect of Poomsae? I would be happy to hear your thoughts! Thanks!
        • 1
        PAUL (paldo) REYNOLDS Kata: my favorite past time ! meaning I highly support Kata and I've spend a live-time of it and still do ! I will repeat, as I've mentioned in many other threads, that kata is essential to the basics of karate development. Without kata development you will not be able to recognize a strike and defend against it in time. Most folks don't like kata for various reasons, but I think its because they arn't being taught correctly and they don't practice bunkei, the practicality of kata development. One, two, three to five step sparring drills are included. This takes time,( not weeks like a college course), to develop and along with your belt levels and belt degrees. Most advanced karate-ka understand its value when devoted to it and become proficient. The true value of kata comes when you have become very experienced and grasped the various entities in which you can combat the techniques much easily. Grappling is the furtherance of kata for locks, holds, and throws to truely understand the karate kata. Without kata development your development will be prolonged and depressive. Grappling moves are strong moves performing faster at the beginning then decreasde speed and increase tension. The reality is to grab your opponent quickly, then apply the lock or hold.This pertains to karate and not to other martial arts although I would include Taekwondo. Pros: memory increase, quicker reflections, cooler pace and more intelligent thinking in sparring, proficiencey in contact in withholding killing techniques, body and mind control and self-satisfaction. I also find solo kata without a partner my thing as to say, for I let in the spirituality portion of it in the quiet time of a dojo. This is where I perfect my contact, techniques without a bag or with a bag in control of killing techniques and controlling speed contacts. Kumite practice is the test of solo and partner practices while withholding any killing techniques. Hard bags develop your feet and hands and good for jumping techniques, and applying strong kicks and punches equalizing to breaking strength ! Hard bags should only be used for experienced karate-ka who have developed good techniques where injuries should not occur. Other Pros are: softer bags are used for those inexperience karate-ka where mistakes can be make without breaking bones etc. Kata can also be used in stress relief, body building, exercise, sleep depressions, and group or unit parrings (kata drills) for timing and coordination of movements in fast and slow paces.
      • 10 more comments
      • 4
      Promotion.
      So today out of the blue I was tested and promoted. Sill not a black belt but that takes about 6 years minnimum. In Chidokwon Karate.

      With all the other years of training. 2 tkd, 4 plus boxing, 2 of military combative including 1 as an instructor. And the 4 plus of mma training. And other weapons etc over the years, I need to ask.

      What makes one a real black belt?
      Is it years at 1 art?
      Or years of training?
      Or is it mind set and the ability to pass on that knowledge.?

      My students are always assumed to be higher belts than they are. Is this the decline of western martial arts or is my school just that thorough in training

      For example my oldest does boxing wrestling and karate. 4 days a week for 3 years strait.. He had a green belt in tkd at 8 But is only a 8th kyu in Chidokwon. He knows all the techniques and does them well. He lacks the disapline ti advance though , and he knows it.
        • 1
        PAUL (paldo) REYNOLDS First, congrats @ Ray on your promotional test. What makes one a real black belt ! my world-wide understanding is: acquiring all the black belt skills and passing a test in one style by a recognized karate organization or sensei thereof. Second phase, maintaining black belt proficiency levels after acquiring 1st dan or Japanese Shodan.To me, the key word is "real", which I believe equates to "experience" or 2nd or 3rd dan, with proven personal respect for the art and standards thereof, and the ability to teach skills with objective integrity, and maintain righteous pesonal character and honour karate herritage.
        • 1
        Al W [171807,Andy] I'll introduce Brian to bubble wrap, it's the best way to deal with guards
        • 1
        Andy [217441,Ray], firstly congratulations on the promotion! :)
        That is a good question and one we have skirted around on various threads here, again, there are black belts and then there are black belts! I completely agree with @James and with @Al W to a certain extent though I don't think we need quite so many 'someone's' (talk about multiple personality disorder),
        So what or who is a 'real' black belt? Well I can tell you! A 'real' black belt is anyone who deposits £500 into my bank account, this will make them instantly be able to take on and defeat any number of armed or unarmed opponents including Pirates, Ninja, Zombies, Aliens and cyborgs (not robots though, that's £700 for the robots and shark package which also includes robot sharks)! Everyone else regardless of skill, fitness or 'experience' is a fake, fraudulent phoney who would get their ass kicked by a blind geriatric asthmatic goldfish! :)
      • 21 more comments


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